Terra Incognita

Eden, the Lost Colony

by Elizabeth McCoy

Once upon a time, there was a genetic engineer who was employed on a planet with somewhat low gravity, but a high-density atmosphere. The terraforming process would be slow enough that it was more cost- and time-effective to "meet the planet halfway." While others worked on introducing terrestrial ecosystems, the gengineer crafted modifications for humans that would enable them to survive in the thicker atmosphere.

But the project was plagued with accidents (or lack of funding), and soon only the gengineer was left on the planet, working alongside automated terraforming machines. Needing assistants, however, the gengineer decided to craft some -- which had the added benefit of testing the alterations to lungs and bones.

With a bit of whimsy, however, the gengineer decided to add wings. Not only would these suit aesthetic concerns, but they would have two other benefits. First, they would enable the constructs to travel more easily, and second, it would enhance the difference between the constructs and the eventual human inhabitants. (It should be said that the primary reason was probably to bolster the gengineer's ego -- a Creator should have angels, right?)

Of course, the karma attached to the imagery might have made the wings a bad choice . . .

The first angel-constructs worked perfectly, and helped to make others; then it came time to create the humans who would eventually inherit the planet.

With the human babies floating in their tanks, something . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: October 11, 2002

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